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Sustainability Fund

Volume 401: debated on Tuesday 18 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to use the Sustainability Fund to compensate operators for revoking the most damaging old mineral permissions in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty. [102693]

Following two full consultation exercises, the core objectives of the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF) were set to support work in three main categories: minimising demand for primary aggregates; promoting environmentally friendly aggregates extraction and transportation; and reducing the local effects of aggregates extraction. Using the fund as a mechanism for compensating operators for revoking permissions was not raised in either consultation and does not, therefore, feature in the scheme.

English Nature has been designated as the distributing body for projects aimed at addressing the effects of old mineral planning permissions, increasing biodiversity and conserving geological features and the Countryside Agency distributes funds for projects that conserve and enhance the countryside. For both cases, the ALSF operates as a project based scheme and does not provide a mechanism for compensating operators for revoked permissions.